the2ndrule.comMar 2002

0. Edit
1. Mad people are more artistic
2. Instant Cafe Radio Episode 4
3. Periodic Fogging of Insects
4. PATH01
5. Untitled
6. Forgetting how to swim
7. E-Commerce
8. The Author's Prayer
9. Buka


Brother kills brother, biblical style. Two innovations this time (the morbid value-add): suicide style instant martyrdom, and global network operations. Ex-terrorist gets terrorized by both his ex-terror victims and the terrorists he has spawned. Don't lose your head, the head that wears the kaffiyeh.

Do we think that in this country we can bury the diverse symbols of our faiths, wear instead the same baseball caps with nationalistic slogans, defer to Big Daddy every time our brothers fight?

We have the advantage of starting in the comfort zone, building from the positive. This is something well within the domain of do-it-yourself. Open the book of your heart.

Mad people are more artistic

i wonder if i concussed my head
or maybe compressed it by a few megabytes
when i did a showoff dive
in the swimming pool
and landed headfirst
on the bottom and bounced on my head
up and over legs in the air
and then body hanging limpid floating
till someone helpful pulled me
and now i wonder if i concussed
my head
secretly hoping that
it may make me a little bit crazy
or eccentric or quirky or just plain
rabbling mad;
just not dead.

I am not a happy beer drinking hamster.

Koh Beng Liang & Shannon Low

Shoot me with your love.
Periodic Fogging of Insects

If like a break-in, a cog dropped or a buzz
in soup, young woman, fetching as a bird,
resembles none of this - although the impact
is approximate, you say. Black strands
tossed in air and ample bust bouncing in rhythm
with no other, barely contained in blue baby
tee and red micro shorts, she roller-blades
towards a detachment in luminous yellow-
striped silver vests and masked by tubular
respirators. Moses parts the Red Sea,
except here he's a she, and there are five men,
maybe six, what do I know? - these are men,
judging from the way they walk - in canary
yellow outfits and all are, should be dry-lipped,
and wet with sweat underneath, and it's all,
always, definitely her fault. These blokes,
no doubt they are, slowly comb the field,
clouds of smoke in morning heat, then freeze -
do you intimate the unravelling of this note-
perfect set-up, your taut, one-eyed
pornographer snapped in a state of undress,
via glory hole, camera lucida, or on the other
side of an interrogation room. The soundmen
whip and stomp for rhyme and reason
as the husband pries into wife's purse
for incriminating evidence followed
by an innocent son walking into a landmine,
things going off without plan or discrimination.
Her earphones on as she breezes past,
but can the third party smell
the heat and sweat in the karaoke machine?
So push the pause for a click
as the intruder comes through, undiminished.
The ploy of objective correlative
emits surreptitious aerosol. No one
blinks while the men, faceless and safe,
go up in pale fire as pheromones.
This is no elegant conceit but a factual
incident mimed in good faith, the even eye
setting off its own guilt-ridden trail
along the ECP. Two exclamations, one
after the other, squelched into black and white,
down fluttering as parched tongues or flags
stuck to indifferent tarmac. Who are
the next hits and misses and when can
I die again and come back clean as paper?
For now, the future is light blue,
doused with eloquent white.
Link the invisible dots and tell us a parable
where the heart pumps like the groin.
What you don't see could kill you,
says the health ministry above the exit/
entrance as young school girl enters portal.
In the ad, the square-jawed pyromaniac
smiles, a cigarette dangled over pursed lips,
while smoke fills his X-rayed lungs.
Like the way Roller Girl comes on
pious as staccato pixels in blue and red
and colours unseen, then zapped
the morning after in the building blocks
with dead crickets, pushers and prophets.
Trust me: To survive, the dumb
lip-sync, leave not a trace, inveigh chance
against loss, risk against face; still
as metronomes, ticking like mine.
Yeow Kai Chai


Ali G Indahouse! West Staines Massive, RESPECT, aye!

the scientists have discovered a new insect:
a fly in the darkness
tiny point of light
it flies
even as you close your eyes
and stare blankly at your eye-lids
the tiny point of light
is dancing, mocking.
time fly.

Stikfas - Ministerial quality glue for Japanese Oppressors!
Forgetting how to swim

I have this recurring image where I'm swimming in the middle of a large pool, the chlorine blue water surrounds me, I am buoyant and conscious of the liquid running across the sides of my bodies, filtering light and shadow. Then, as if I mentally flipped a switch in my head, I realize how alien this is, floating weightlessly in a medium that can easily kill me if I hadn't mastered it. Swimming is like playing chess with death, and I always get that sinking feeling of my king being surrounded in a corner by pawns, with nowhere to go. It is the simple difference between one body posture and another, between moving your arms from side to side to up and down. And I forget to swim. In which case, even just six feet is far too deep.

The cat doesn't seem to want to run out of the house these days, he waits in his usual corner of the blue carpet, as I turn the key in the lock and enter the apartment. Sometimes he sits for hours at the window, breathing out mist onto the glass, watching, listening to the branches in the wind and the stray cars that wander onto the street.

Of late I have been sitting in my French class and starting to forget that I know the language. It seems one thing to listen effortlessly to talk of revolution, enlightenment. Then, it suddenly dissolves as quickly as the day it began to make sense. Which auxiliary in front of which verb? Why is that article here and not there? I begin to make mistakes in basic grammar, I find myself flailing for words that I always knew, inside out, like manger, promener. The professor looks at me in astonishment, I rub my boots together uncomfortably, cross one leg over the other and look at the brand new carpeting. My grasp of anything seems frail these days, even my feet on the ground.

I really thought that when I woke up there would be a wall behind me. He said the other day,

"It's been almost a year to the day we've slept together every night."

I thought there were too many words in that sentence, but I didn't say so.

"Yes, I know, but I really thought you weren't going to be there when I woke up. It must have been a bad dream."

I thought I was going to wake up to the glossy green upholstery that had been put in in a fit of foolhardiness on the part of my parents. The interior decorator had insisted on pink for "little girls" and the green upholstery had been an attempt at a compromise, even though I had insisted that my favorite color was blue.

The cat sometimes walks around as if he's lost in the apartment. He calls out for something that has no name, no face, just a distinct smell. He hunts for it as if he expects it will jump out from behind the couch. He looks at us accusingly as if we're hiding it from him.

They seem too young to be in my classes. I forget that everything they are learning now I did already some time ago. When another girl lays claim to that knowledge I feel she is crass and impertinent. You don't inform people of their ignorance, they don't like that. I learnt that a long time ago. Still, sometimes I forget to smile and I stare in one place for too long. I know it unnerves them. I pull up the collar of my sweater and try to disappear into it.

In the morning I kick off the covers and place my feet on the cool tops of the quilt.

"We'll still be under sheets when we go home for the summer, right?"

I don't know how to respond to that. How do you describe a place where people use electric fans and then thick blankets to recreate the security of a winter night, under a reassuring weight? There are no words to explain a culture like that. Instead I curl my neck and nestle into an almost too hot space between his ear and shoulder. I say nothing. Sometimes I even forget where I am.
Joanne Leow


As you netsurf, a small window pops up
(regardless of your nationality), hawking
star-spangled flags for hot-blooded Americans
with the guarantee: these colours do not run.
Yong Shu Hoong

Sinful Six: pornography, gambling, illegal activities,
hate sites, tasteless material and violent content.
The Author's Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven
(and has also written a book),
famous be Thy name.
Thy royalties come,
and movies be done
based on ideas contained in your novel.
Give us this day a bestseller
and forgive us the crap we churn out,
as we forgive those
who have plagiarised from us.
Lead us to the top of the bestsellers' lists,
but deliver us from sly literary agents.
For thine is the copyright
in screenplays and sequels,
forever and ever. Amen.
Aaron Lee

Sidney. Denzel. Halle.

Once again, still
on thin lines of borrowed time,
they watch.
Lips cracking, mouth drawing open,

Mercy. Those desperate eyes,
Razor sharp. Demanding pity.
This season, go easy on my heart;
Coated by the flimsiest obligation,

The first sip.
Trickling, plastered walls,
snapping, lines of resilience.

This is Ramadhan. This is fulfillment.
Open, break.
Naked, exposed.

Tender those hearts to those asking;
just once. Open, just a little.
Not yours to say. Whose to decide?
And judge.

It is His call, His time.
We walk on it. On loan.
Another one of His time
for us.

techno fetishism:


Mad people are more artistic © 2002 http://orchardroad.diaryland.com/older.html
Instant Cafe Episode 4 © 2002 Koh Beng Liang & Shannon Low
Periodic Fogging of Insects © 2002 Yeow Kai Chai
Untitled © 2002 http://orchardroad.diaryland.com/older.html
Forgetting how to swim © 2002 Joanne Leow
E-Commerce © 2002 Yong Shu Hoong
The Author's Prayer © 2002 Aaron Lee
Buka © 2002 Val

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